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International rights groups urge UN action against Syrian attacks

June 26, 2015 at 10:18 am

A coalition of human rights and humanitarian organizations has called on the UN Security Council to take immediate action to prevent indiscriminate assaults targeting Syrian civilians.

“We wish to express our collective outrage at the never ending state of unchecked brutality in Syria,” said a joint declaration late Thursday signed by 81 organizations from various countries.

The human rights watchdogs and NGOs, which include Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) expressed grave concern over continuing indiscriminate attacks against civilians in the war-ridden country.

“We urge each member of the Security Council to now take steps to implement further diplomatic measures given clear and ongoing non-compliance with Resolution 2139, specifically measures to establish a mechanism to track and publicly expose indiscriminate attacks by any means against civilians, including barrel bombs or car bombs, and to lay down clear consequences for violators,” they said.

The statement reminded the UN Security Council that it had adopted Resolution 2139 16 months ago, demanding an end to “all attacks against civilians, including shelling and aerial bombardment, such as the use of barrel bombs”.

The organizations emphasized that the UN Security Council “has stood by” as repeated violations of the resolution have been committed, including “unrelenting and brutal attacks against schools, markets, and hospitals”.

“Expressing ‘deep concern’ in statements to the press while Syrians are killed and maimed in attacks which violate International Humanitarian Law day after day is a woefully inadequate response,” said the declaration.

They stressed that Syrian people deserve protection from all kind of attacks, not only from chemical-involved ones.

The UN Security Council is expected to discuss the issue Friday during an informal consultation pioneered by France and Spain, to discuss the indiscriminate use of weapons including barrel bombs against civilians in Syria.

A related resolution at the UN Security Council calling for the violators to be referred to the International Criminal Court was vetoed last year by two of its five permanent members, Russia and China.